Perhaps the cause of our ills in life is that our lives are TOO predictable, safe, and comfortable.
When is street photography fun?
I think street photography is most fun when it is scary, dangerous, and uncertain.
This is my theory:
Danger (adrenaline) stimulates us in a positive way.
Perhaps boredom is just a manifestation of NOT having enough danger, challenge, or difficulties in our lives.
Why I prefer living in developing cities
This is the funny thing: all cities strive to becone more regular and predictable, but I think I prefer living in a city with fewer “rules”.
For example, when crossing the road in Saigon or Hanoi, you must exercise caution. But this is a good thing, because you actually pay attention when you cross the street!
Compare this to crossing the street in in San Francisco or New York (people walking around with headphones or crossing the street with their phones). You get suckered into being hyper-confident that cars follow rules and thus you won’t get run over. But in fact, I wonder if you are more likely to die living in a “predictable” city with “rules” because we lose our ability to exercise caution.
What type of aesthetics are interesting?
For myself I love to photograph gritty, raw and decaying textures. This is 1000x more interesting than any “clean” aesthetics.
For example I’m so inspired to shoot photos in Mexico, because all the gritty colors and textures are so fascinating and stimulating! Whenever I’m in a “cleaner” place, I find less inspiration. Because too much regularity is boring.
Are we stimulated by irregularity?
For example, when I’m in the suburbs I feel like I’m dying. Why? Lack of external stimuli. Too quiet, too regular, too safe, too regular.
I am most stimulated when I’m in “dangerous” situations, because I’m forced to pay attention and exercise my visual-auditory sensory systems. If you don’t have a reason to pay attention, you won’t pay attention.
Even with nature (going hiking and seeing trees and organic life) is irregular. There are infinite permutations of organic life (plants, animals, insects) that are totally random. Perhaps we delight in this randomness and chaos.
In fact, much of nature grows in a “fractal” pattern which is a bit regular and chaotic at the same time.
In praise of randomness, chaos, irregularity, unpredictability
I’m a follower of Nassim Taleb:
Life is far more fun and interesting when we learn to love chance, randomness, danger, and unpredictability.
Modernity wants us to be generic and boring.
Why not prefer a life of danger, war, and chance? This is the only way we can exercise and build our strength. A life that is 100% predictable is a life where you don’t require skills, bravery, or courage.
So I guess the maxim is:
When in doubt, take the more dangerous, uncertain, and exciting option!